…and just do it.
“You’re setting yourself up to have a lousy day and you’re setting me up to get notes from your teacher, ‘Noah didn’t listen,’ ‘Noah went bonkers and bothered everybody’, so on and so forth.”
“Yeah, but I reaaaalllyy hate arts and crafts. A whole day of cutting and gluing and ahhhhhhh, even worse, coloring. Can’t you like spend the day with me? Please?”
Work the guilt strings, Noah. Very resonant. They sing so beautifully.
He has a pedagogical day. No school, but a day of activities at daycare. Sometimes its fun… movie outings, museum visits, gaming centers. Sometimes it isn’t.
“Noah, I can’t take a day off. Already it’s tough because I lose hours with all sorts of stuff like dentists and teacher meetings. Next Friday, I’ve got to work.”
I have to work to motivate myself to have the strength to motivate myself to do crap I don’t feel like doing but which has enormous implications if I don’t do right.
Like spending a day at the rental board fighting to get my landlady to repair a leaky roof, a rotting balcony and thermostats that short out. And the nasty woman is suing me for invented slights, to frighten me into leaving.
I fight down the urge to scream at him.
“Noah, I can’t. I would love to, but I really can’t. And you have to help me.”
“How help you, dad?”
“Yeah. You’ve got to be positive and not get all worked up to make yourself miserable. If you keep saying I hate this, I hate this, then you’ll blow a gasket and we’ll all suffer nasty feelings.”
“But, Noah, don’t. Just listen and do it. Your only choice is doing it badly or doing it well.”
He expels a climate changing amount of hot air. Fascinating contribution to my mounting urge to rant and rave and throw a tantrum.
Try to ignore it, I tell myself.
He pulls his neck warmer up over his face. To punish me, to pout. Exactly what drives me nuts.
Try to ignore it, I tell myself again.
“Pfffffaaaaaawwwww.” Now compressed air and laments from behind the mask.
Man, if I was married to the kid, it would be time to file divorce papers.
Try to ignore it, I tell myself again and again. I breathe and expel noisily, to calm myself.
One eye peeks out from the neck warmer.
Despite my growing rage, I can’t help chuckling.
He quickly hides his own amusement. Can’t possibly let the situation become o.k. He must maintain punishment on his recalcitrant parent.
Thankfully, the school bus pulls up before we enter the next round.
I give him a quick hug and kiss. He waves perfunctorily from the window.
I turn and drag my exhausted ass to the starting line of the rest of the day.
Ready, set, ….